UK rescues more migrants hours after 27 die in worst ever Channel tragedy

25 November 2021, 08:45

The rescue operation has continued into Thursday morning
The rescue operation has continued into Thursday morning. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Rescue operations are still underway in the aftermath of Wednesday's tragedy in the English Channel, which saw at least 27 migrants die trying to make their way to England.

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Photos show the RNLI bringing groups of people to Kent, Dover, and helping them ashore.

The people, thought to be migrants, are wrapped in blankets and thick coats and wearing life jackets, with some wearing face masks.

The RNLI helped migrants ashore in Dover
The RNLI helped migrants ashore in Dover. Picture: Alamy
The people rescued were wrapped up to protect against the November weather
The people rescued were wrapped up to protect against the November weather. Picture: Alamy

In France, migrants picked up on beaches by French police are being taken to board coaches in Calais.

At least 27 migrants - including a pregnant woman and at least one child - died after their boat got into difficulty on Wednesday.

It is thought to be the worst recorded migrant tragedy in the Channel.

There are fears the dinghy may have been hit by a container ship before sinking.

Read more: Migrants' dinghy sank leaving 27 dead after being 'hit by large container ship'

Read more: PM: We must break migrant gangs who are 'literally getting away with murder'

It is thought two men survived the incident.

A number of suspected people smugglers have been arrested in France.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he is "shocked, appalled and deeply saddened" after the incident.

He chaired an emergency Cobra meeting on Wednesday night, and has since called on France to agree to joint police patrols along the French coast.

He admitted current efforts to stop people smugglers have not been enough, and said they were "literally getting away with murder".

Record numbers of migrants have reached the UK this year
Record numbers of migrants have reached the UK this year. Picture: Alamy

Dover MP Natalie Elphicke described the incident as "an absolute tragedy".

"It underlines why saving lives at sea starts by stopping the boats entering the water in the first place," she said.

"As winter is approaching the seas will get rougher, the water colder, the risk of even more lives tragically being lost greater.

"That's why stopping these dangerous crossings is the humanitarian and right thing to do."